A delicious meal prepared at Cook'n With Class Paris │ Courtesy of Cook'n With Class Paris
Honestly, who among us hasn’t watched Julie & Julia (a hundred times) and thought: Gosh, doesn’t that look like the best darn time? (And we mean the scenes where Meryl Streep is chopping onions and juggling cannelloni, not where Amy Adams is burning the boeuf bourguignon.) So we thought we’d help you get off the sofa and into the kitchen with a list of the seven best cooking classes in Paris.
Les Cours Miss Lunch
Restaurant, American, French, Fusion
Miss Lunch is a cook and visual artist, an ‘artist-cook’, as she puts it. She is also the woman who, back in 2008, brought the concept of pop-up restaurants to Paris from New York, with her hugely coveted Lunch in the Loft sessions. Four years later, she took the show on the road, well, to the rue Antoine Vollon, taking over the PPP Boutique for mornings and afternoons of culinary experimentation and fun. Check out Miss Lunch’s website for the menu of the week and to book a class with this four-timer of the prestigious Le Guide Fooding.
You can’t put a price on brand recognition. For well over a century, Le Cordon Bleu has been training future masters of the culinary arts at the highest level, with some 20,000 chefs and hospitality professionals graduating from its courses every year. Thankfully, you don’t need to consider a career change to benefit from their gastronomic expertise: a variety of short courses are run for all levels, covering pastries, sauces, chocolate, bread, wine, and, well, pretty much everything else delicious under the sun. There are observational and practical workshops, and for the latter class size is limited to 16 people.
Whether you’re a novice or an enthusiast, the École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse offers cooking, pastry, and wine tasting courses in which you’ll feel comfortable and confident. The school is a modern 500-square-meter space in the 16th arrondissement, combining sociable common areas with kitchens designed for maximum culinary efficiency and user-friendliness. The cooking classes teach you how to make a range of meals, from the everyday to something extravagant for special events, from traditional dishes to those for the health-conscious 21st-century diner. There are even courses for children and, perhaps most importantly, classes are run in English.
Le Foodist is the brainchild of a chemical engineer, a wabi-sabi ceramist, and a sommelier: a perfect combination if ever there was one. Their mission is to discover culture through food. As they say on their website: ‘[W]e believe food is not only a very appropriate way to discover any culture; it might well be the best and ultimately only way to decipher a culture.’ To be a part of this journey, you can subscribe to one of their pastry, cooking, or wine-tasting courses which are run from an adorably appointed kitchen in the Latin Quarter.
The aim of the game at La Cuisine Paris is to learn something new while having fun. As a non-professional cooking school, it is set up just like a kitchen in a normal apartment so what you pick up there you should be comfortable replicating in your own home. Which is to say, there’s no fancy equipment used that your newly acquired showstopper of a meal will fall apart without when you try and make it for your next dinner party. There are two teaching spaces, one of which is in a traditional Parisian cave, and classes are usually capped at 12 people.
For almost ten years, Cook’n With Class has been teaching English-speakers the art of French cuisine at their state-of-the-art school in Montmartre. The diverse range of courses they offer cover everything from creating the perfect macaron to the most succulent of meat dishes, and a whole lot in between. Class sizes are small, at just six to eight people, so that everyone gets involved in the action and the atmosphere is relaxed, fun, and educational. There is also the option to meet the chef at the market beforehand to select the ingredients you’ll use to prepare a gourmet four-course meal.
If it’s good enough for Bradley Cooper and Omar Sy, it’s good enough for readers of The Culture Trip, right? This smooth operating cooking school has 16 workshops across France and provides classes as short as 30 minutes and as long as four hours for all levels of culinary ability. Sessions at L’Atelier des Chefs are taught by professional chefs from the country’s finest restaurants and cover French cooking as well as cuisines from around the world. As with all of the courses above, it is a superb place to spend time with friends, colleagues, or family.